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Soundscapes: Hearing in the Age of Digital Media

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The rise of digital media over the last few decades has dramatically changed the way in which we make and consume sound within the contexts of our everyday lives. Whether we play ongoing music streams at home, freely reassemble audible objects with the help of our computers, listen to a diverse range of prerecorded sounds on the move, or find ourselves subjected to continuous sound in every arena of the public sphere—the advent of digital media has led to an unprecedented mobilization of sound as much as it has raised fundamental questions about existing structures of attention. While some critics argue that listeners have greater freedom and autonomy today than ever before, others feel as if today’s digital soundscapes overwhelm and stupefy the human ear. Either way, listening today is not what is used to be. Recent media changes have reshaped how we attend to sound and music, and we need new vocabularies to study and evaluate how those changes have altered our sense of hearing and the importance of sound in contemporary art, entertainment, politics, and knowledge production.

Thursday, November 14, 2013
First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S.

9:30 – 10:00: Introductory Remarks
Lutz Koepnick (German and Film Studies | Vanderbilt University)

10:00 – 11:15: Session 1
Anahid Kassabin (School of Music | University of Liverpool)
“Ubiquitous Listening and Distributed Subjectivity”
RespondentKevin Murphy (Art History | Vanderbilt University)

11:15: Morning break

11:30 – 12:45: Session 2
Holger Schulze (Sound Studies Lab | Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
“The Soundscape as a Genre of Artistic Research: Critique and Advocacy of the Soundscape in the 21st Century”
RespondentClaire Sisco King (Communication Studies | Vanderbilt University)

12:45-2:00: Lunch

2:00 – 3:00: Session 3
Mark Wallace (Vanderbilt Brain Institute | Vanderbilt University)
“Combining Sounds and Sights–A Multisensory View of Perception”
IntroductionJoy H. Calico (Blair School of Music | Vanderbilt University)

3:00: Afternoon break

3:15 – 4:30: Session 4
Michael Alcorn (School of Music and Sonic Arts | Queens University, Belfast)
“Attention Seeking: Changing Environments for Composing with Sound in the 21st Century”
RespondentRichard Lloyd (Sociology | Vanderbilt University)

4:30: Afternoon break

4:45 – 6:00: Session 5
Christopher Burns (Peck School of the Arts | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
“Sound and Simulation”
RespondentJonathan Rattner (Film Studies | Vanderbilt University)